Taliban maintains close ties to terror groups: Afghan NDS Chief

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Taliban’s relations with other terrorist groups “continue to be close and mutually beneficial which is against the spirit of the peace agreement the group had signed with the United States,” said the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence agency.

“The Taliban’s leadership is still thinking of a comeback to power by military means. They do not value things like mutual tolerance and peace,” the NDS chief Ahmad Zia Saraj told Afghan senators during a briefing about the security situations of the country.

At the same session, acting Minister of Interior Massoud Andarabi said that the Taliban will not be able to win on the battlefield.

“We will prevent the Taliban’s wish to settle the problem through military means,” said Andarabi.

Meanwhile, senators in Afghanistan’s Meshrano Jirga (the upper house of the Afghan parliament), praised the services of the Afghan armed forces for defending the nation against threats.

“We pay our homage to all members of the armed forces who fight against the enemy,” said Fazel Hadi Muslimyar, the chief of the senate.

“In a situation where the Americans have adopted neutrality in the war with them (the Taliban), what position are we taking in this?” asked Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, a senator.

According to NDS chief Saraj, since March the Taliban has conducted over 220 attacks and the group still has ties with terror groups.

Nevertheless, officials from the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that Iran are trying to disrupt the security situations in Afghanistan.

“There is nothing to keep in secrect, it’s a crystal-clear fact that foreign kills us on a daily basis,” said general Yasin Zia, the deputy Minister of Defense.

According to Afghan security officials, the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) have launched over 1,200 operations against the Taliban since the signing of the peace agreement between the US and the Taliban on February 29.

On April 25, the Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) said that the Taliban has conducted an average of 55 attacks per day since the signing of the peace deal with the United States in Doha on February 29.

The Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) said that the Taliban conducted 2,804 attacks from the beginning of March to April 19, adding the group “does not remain committed to the reconciliation process that will help the country to end decades of war.”

Based on ONSC figures, the attacks left “789 civilians dead and wounded,” and “34 civilians were killed in Taliban attacks during the last week and “62 others were wounded.”

According to Faisal, “2,737 Taliban fighters” were killed and wounded during this period.

Earlier this month Afghan President Ghani, on the eve of Ramadan, appealed to the Taliban to call a ceasefire, especially in light of the pandemic spreading across the country.

The Taliban responded by calling the appeal improbable and insincere considering the government’s continued detention of thousands of Taliban prisoners–vulnerable to contracting COVID-19–and for causing other “hurdles” to be in the way of the peace process.

The increase in violence also led to a statement by NATO and its allies calling on the Taliban to reduce violence and agree on a humanitarian ceasefire. But a prospect for a ceasefire in the country remains invisible so far. (TOLOnews)